Celebrating Earth Day and Remembering Professor Wangari Maathai
Professor Wangari Maathai was a woman who lived life with passion, determination, and inspiration. So much so that she’s made a lasting impact on millions of people across the globe.
Some of her accomplishments include being the first woman from Central and East Africato earn a doctorate degree and founding the Green Belt Movement. She became the first person in history to win the Nobel Peace Prize for the environment. She did this by providing over a million people with the ability to earn an income by planting trees – and, through her efforts and theirs, inspired the rest of the world to follow.
I had the privilege of knowing Wangari. When I met her in 2004, I knew there was something special about her. She had a wonderful smile that would light up the darkest days, and a gentle but “never take no for an answer” persistence. While it is difficult to convey what she meant to me personally and to all of us, I’m honored to have known her, and she continues to inspire me every day.
In honor of Wangari Matthai, I’d like to share a special video below of her telling a story about the hummingbird and the forest fire. In the story, which she loved to tell over and over again, Wangari shows us how it is better to be the hummingbird, trying against all odds to put out the forest fire, one drop of water at a time, rather than to stand back and say, “It can’t be done.” This was the message she gave and exactly how she lived her life.
As we approach Earth Day, I would like to inspire each of you to take action. This year, the Shaklee family will begin planting trees that contribute to the I am the Hummingbird campaign. The Green Belt Movement’s worldwide goal is to plant one billion trees in memory of Wangari Maathai, and to further her goals for improving our world.
You can make a difference. Every small act can create a positive effect in the world. You can help us carry on the legacy and life work of Wangari Maathai, and be the hummingbird in the forest, doing what you can. Plant a tree and let us know about it. Email us at email@example.com and let us know about the trees you have planted – how many and where they are – and we’ll count them in our contribution to the I am the Hummingbird campaign.
Even better, reduce your energy and fuel consumption. Use filtered water versus plastic bottles. Switch to biodegradable, non-toxic household cleaners that work just as well. Make your home safer, and the earth greener and cleaner. And, don’t just do it; tell others about it too.
Thank you, and Happy Earth Day!